Heartbreak in Dayton, Ohio, as the season came to an end for Iowa State as Aaaron Craft hit the game winner for Ohio State with half a second to go in the NCAA Tournament. Craft was being guarded by Cyclone freshman Georges Niang as he set up the winning shot.
“I probably could have had a hand up earlier, he made a tough shot — credit to him,” Niang said. He said he was playing Craft to drive as he was not shooting much from the outside, but he pulled up and hit the three.
It spoiled a late rally by the Cyclones that saw them roar back from 13 points down to take a late one point lead but two mistakes in the final minute proved costly. First was an ISU turnover with the score tied then the Cyclones lost a defensive rebound out of bounds which allowed Ohio State to set up for the game winner.
Niang said he feels like they showed in the last six minutes that they are all about winning as they went out and tried to take the game. Korie Lucious led Iowa State with 19 points as ISU lost in the third round for the second straight year.
“I can’t tell you how proud I am of our guys…what they’ve done for Iowa State basketball these past two years, making it relevant again, making back-to-back NCAA Tournaments for the first time since 2000-2001. This group of guys will be remembered for a long time,” Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said.
The Cyclones end the season with a record of 23-12.